Cheshire County Show 2010, Tabley Showground, Knutsford (with audio)
PUBLISHED: 19:25 02 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:36 20 February 2013
Temperatures soared, the band played and the livestock starred as a record number of people turned out for the annual celebration of agricultural life at the Cheshire County Show<br/>WORDS BY EMMA MAYOH<br/>PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON
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Nigel Evans knew the sun would shine at this years Cheshire County Show. The events executive director had put his order in for uninterrupted good weather when the gates closed at last years record breaking event. And his wish was fulfilled.
This year more than 85,000 people - a number that smashed last years figure - swarmed onto Tabley Showground, near Knutsford, for the annual two-day show, no doubt grateful for Nigels efforts.
The crowds basked in the glorious sunshine while watching some of the thrilling events. A performance by The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas saw many people line the borders of the Main Ring. A nail-biting and spectacular stunt show from the Bolddog Freestyle Motorcycle Display Team drew in the numbers as did numerous birds of prey displays by several organisations including the Gauntlet Bird of Prey Centre and The National Falconry School.
Nigel said: The show went extremely well. We had the biggest crowds we have ever had at the show - we have never filled every car park but we did this year. The Gurkha band was incredible and the motorcycle stunts were excellent. Im always amazed how they never get it wrong.
I believe the secret of our success is offering a fantastic spectacle that is also good value for money. Achieving this would not be possible without the amazing efforts and hard work of our team of over 300 volunteers and I must congratulate all those involved in the show for making 2010 another hugely successful year.
Two special guests were Charles Collingwood and Judy Bennett, the voices of wealthy landowner Brian Aldridge and stables owner Shula Hebden-Lloyd on popular Radio 4 soap, The Archers. It was their first time at the Cheshire County Show which came about after a chance reunion with Charles former school friend and new show president, Michael Trevor-Barnston.
The couple, who took part in a question and answer session and met the public, were keen to champion country values and to support locally-sourced organic produce.
Charles said: My character Brian is the biggest and richest landowner in The Archers and Im sure he would be in his element at the Cheshire County Show. We dont live here but we love coming to Cheshire. Its a beautiful county and this show celebrates all that is best about it.
Also visiting the show were Chris Villiers and Matt Healy, former Emmerdale stars, who helped to promote the 50th anniversary of Leukaemia and Lymphoma research.
But it was the hundreds of cattle, sheep, horses and dogs who stole the show as they competed for numerous trophies and rosettes.
Stamford Pavarotti, ridden by 11-year-old Emily Ward from Thornton Hough won the Leverhulme Gold Cup in the Working Hunter Ponies category. The cup was last presented by Lord Leverhulme more than ten years ago in 1994.
Emily, a pupil at St Winifreds School in Neston, is trained by her father Nick Ward and international show jumper Michael Whitaker. She is a former winner of the Royal International Horse Show and is now the first person from Thornton Hough to win the trophy.
Mum Kelly said: Its nice to bring it back to the village where Lord Leverhulme lived. Emily has been riding since she was two and to win this cup was really good for her.
We have our own stables as do my mum and dad so, in our family, riding is our life. Were really proud of what shes done.
Visitors to the show also had the chance to get a birds-eye view of the 250-acre site from the UKs largest viewing wheel as well as have food to enjoy at the Roberts Bakery Food Hall.
There were live cookery demonstrations, a farmers market to browse, the Countryside Experience area where people could try archery, clay shooting and falconry, a vintage machinery parade and the much-celebrated Grand Parade. There were also winning displays from Rostherne chainsaw carver, Tim Burgess and the Cheshire branches of the Womens Institute and the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies.
Diane Fair, the groups area chairman, said: We have had a long association with the show and they have supported us tremendously. We have had 68 entries this year and the standard has been extremely high.
The Cheshire County Show is what its all about for us. Its a show attended by and supported by local people which is what makes it particularly special. We were delighted to be involved again.
Another highlight was the Sainsburys Agri-Centre where the crowds could meet farmers and get to see animals up close. It also gave an opportunity for the public to find out more about where their food comes from and its journey from field to plate.
Show chairman Tony Garnett, said: This years show was a great celebration of Cheshires farming heritage and its strong roots in agriculture.
It was heart warming to see visitors of all ages coming to the show and there are probably few counties in the UK that have as genuine a love for the countryside as we see here in Cheshire.